Coercion and Its Fallout

October 31, 2020
Coercion and Its Fallout

Filenote | OCR'd, TOC built, PaginatedDo you use Coercion? No? When you have finished this book, youare going to be very surprised; you are going to know some thingsabout yourself that you never knew before.We use coercion almost exclusively to control each other; manyfind it hard to imagine any other way. The author asks, Does thedeath penalty deter potential murderers? Is harsh retaliation theanswer to the discipline problem in our schools? Do the standardcoercive practices work? – in law enforcement, behavior therapy,education, the family, business, the armed forces, diplomacy.Behavior analysis has shown that they do not work. Coercion isin the long run self-defeating. Punishment eventually provescounterproductive. Sidman presents a rational discussion of mattersin which emotions usually run strong. He proposes that what we havelearned in the laboratory can provide guides both for personalconduct and public policy.One of the reviewers had this to say:This book is too good not to have a review, so here it comes. Itcontaines a great amount of information about positivereinforcement vs punishment, how these two principles effectlaboratory rats as well as us humans, like students, criminals,children, employees, soldiers. It even explains how the Nazis wereable to control the Jews in the concentration camps.If you struggle with these questions, either from aphilosophical point of view or in real life, for example whenbringing up your child (or even your dog!)or trying to make youremployees work harder - this is a great book for you. To me it's asexciting as a good novel. It's not hard to read, but contains somuch information that you can't digest it all at once. It's a bookto go back to many times.But the best thing about this book is that, without deliveringall the final answers, it makes you think about the frequent use ofcoercion and punishment in the human society and if there arebetter ways.